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What engineers need to know about Tufnol laminates


The characteristics of Tufnol laminates

High-pressure laminates are light in weight and have good strength, with very useful electrical insulating properties. They have a modulus generally lower than most metals and they are sympathetic to mating metal parts, without being ductile. They do not corrode and can help to prevent corrosion in metal parts. They have higher thermal expansion than many metals and are capable of absorbing a small amount of environmental moisture, which produces slight dimensional changes. Laminates can also be readily machined, to produce components.

In comparison with most engineering thermoplastics, laminates generally are more rigid and stronger under flexural, tensile and compressive forces. They can withstand heavy loads with little plastic deformation and, at normal stresses, creep is minimal, giving load bearing characteristics superior to those of many thermoplastics materials. Laminates offer exceptionally wide temperature capability and they are not impaired by repeated cooling and warming. They have excellent weather resistance and are used in applications requiring very long life in outdoor or marine environments. Chemical resistance to most oils and other hydrocarbon fluids is also good, including most solvents. Concentrated acids and alkalis will attack laminates, but in a dilute form these fluids do not cause appreciable damage.

The grades of TUFNOL laminates which are reinforced with cotton or synthetic fabrics have excellent bearing properties and are used in a very wide range of wearing applications. Water is a very effective lubricant for these grades. This feature is extremely useful, allowing design and operation to be simplified where water or water-based fluids are already present.